What are soil quality indicators?
Soil quality indicators (SQI) include a range of soil physical, chemical and biological characteristics, and are connected to key soil ecosystem functions such as climate and water regulation, nutrient cycling, land structure and stability, and soil microbial and plant biodiversity.
How do you evaluate soil quality?
Soil Quality Indicators Soil quality assessments are conducted by evaluating indicators. Indicators can be physical, chemical, and biological properties, processes, or characteristics of soils. Similarly, plant indicators, such as rooting depth, can provide information about the bulk density or compaction of the soil.
What affects water infiltration in soil?
Soil texture, or the percentage of sand, silt, and clay in a soil, is the major inherent factor affecting infiltration. Water moves more quickly through the large pores in sandy soil than it does through the small pores in clayey soil, especially if the clay is compacted and has little or no structure or aggregation.
What is the best indicator of healthy soil?
pH: pH is an important indicator of soil health because if there is inadequate soil pH, crop growth can be impacted and key nutrients may become less available. Additionally, soil pH can vary soil microbial communities.
What are the indicators of soil health?
Soil pH, electrical conductivity, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic carbon, and nutrient status are the main chemical indicators used in soil health assessment, especially when considering the soil capacity for supporting high yield crops (Kelly et al. 1999).
What are the indicators of soil fertility quality?
Local indicators of soil fertility (LISF) both in Western Pare Lowlands (WPLL) and Maswa district are based on seven main parameters namely soil colour, soil structure, soil texture, soil water retention capacity, plant growth vigour, crop yield, and presence of specific plant species.
What factors affect soil quality?
The quality of a soil is determined by a combination of physical, chemical, and biological properties such as texture, water-holding capacity, porosity, organic matter content, and depth. Since these attributes differ among soils, soils differ in their quality.
Why is soil quality important?
High-quality soils ensure that the primary agricultural lands in the United States are sustained for future generations. Soils of high quality are essential for the production of a bountiful supply of safe food and fiber. Healthy food translates to a healthy people and a healthy nation.
How can we control infiltration?
Decreasing temperature, which increases water viscosity, reducing infiltration. Entrapped air in the unsaturated zone, which tends to reduce infiltration. Surface gradient. Infiltration capacity is usually greater at the start of a rain that follows a dry period, but it decreases rapidly (Fig.
Why is soil infiltration important?
Infiltration is an indicator of the soil’s ability to allow water movement into and through the soil profile. Soil temporarily stores water, making it available for root uptake, plant growth and habitat for soil organisms.
What is the difference between soil health and soil quality?
Soil health describes the biological integrity of the soil community-the balance among organisms within a soil and between soil organisms and their environment.” Soil quality is a term that we use when we talk about the physical attributes of soil. Physical attributes can be as basic as color.
What are the two chemical measures of soil quality?
The chemical indicators that can be directly measured in the field are soil pH, EC, nitrate-nitrogen, and phosphorus-phosphates (measured by P test strip particularly in the Midwest). Reactive carbon is measured in the laboratory and field office, respectively.
What are the different types of soil quality indicators?
Soil quality indicators are physical, chemical, and biological properties, processes, and characteristics that can be measured to monitor changes in the soil. The types of indicators that are the most useful depend on the function of soil for which soil quality is being evaluated.
What should be included in a soil quality sheet?
A series of information sheets for physical, chemical and biological indicators is available to help conservationists and soil scientists with soil health assessment. Factors affecting, relationship to soil function, methods for improvement, and measurement options are discussed for each topic. Review the How-to Guide to get started.
How is soil health related to human health?
Soil health is the capacity of soil to function as a vital living system to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant, animal, and human health. This is a concept that characterizes the ability of a living soil system to perform functions such as supporting plant health.
How does the quality of soil affect its water holding capacity?
Available Water Capacity: Much of this depends on innate soil texture but can be impacted by the amount of soil organic matter and soil aggregation, both of which can increase water holding capacity.